UWI celebrating their capture of the Elite title. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
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Sagicor Life UWI are back on the throne as kings of the Barbados Cricket Association’s Elite Championship.
UWI won their sixth league title in 12 seasons since their promotion to the top-flight competition in 2006 by crushing last year’s champions, Crane Resort St Catherine, by an innings and 75 runs before tea yesterday.
The victory, their fourth of the season, was completed at 1:50 p.m., and gave UWI 18 points from the match and carried them to an unassailable 114 points.
UWI, now in their 12th top-flight season, were also champions in 2009, 2010 (shared with Spartan), 2011, 2012 and 2015.
The St Catherine batsmen, like in the first innings when they only managed 105, didn’t treasure their wickets and capitulated meekly for a paltry 69 in 22.1 overs.
This was after UWI, resuming from 210 for eight, surprisingly declared at 249 for nine with a lead of 144 runs.
Veteran Floyd Reifer, the former Barbados middle-order batsman and one-time West Indies captain, was in no doubt UWI would’ve won the title.
“We were always confident and we believed that we would’ve won the Cup this year. It was just unfortunate early in the season that we had a couple of games to win and then the weather intervened,” said long-serving coach/player Reifer.
With ICBL Empire just two points adrift entering the final round against Massy United Insurance Wildey and challenging for the title, Reifer said it was important for the UWI to concentrate on their own match.
“We control what we can control. We play our own game. If we try to play our own game and still focus on what is going on in the Empire game, you tend to lose focus here. We came into the game knowing that once we get 19 points, we can secure the Cup,” Reifer said.
“Once we batted well, we knew we were going to win the game because we have quality bowlers who can bowl out teams twice. Our main focus was on winning the game and putting in a good performance all three days of the game,” he added.
Yesterday, former Barbados captain Ryan Hinds completed a fantastic all-round performance in his third Elite match this year. He followed his knock of 105 with the excellent figures of six for 14 in 9.1 overs of left-arm spin.
He was supported by former Leeward Islands off-spinner Larry Joseph, who took four for 30 to end with match figures of ten for 87 and 45 wickets overall at an average of 11.51 in six Elite matches.
Only skipper and opener Omar Phillips, who made 32, and Alston Bobb (14) batted for more than 30 minutes and reached double figures.
Earlier this year in the final of the Sagicor Twenty20 Cup at Kensington Oval, UWI also dismissed St Catherine cheaply to win that title. (EZS)